FRIACO (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination
) is a plan offered by BT
s to offer unmetered internet access across the UK
for a reasonable cost.
As of June 2000, BT has been required by OFTEL
to offer other licenced operators a method whereby they are given the chance to compete fairly with the BT SurfTime discount
packages. To do this BT must carry internet traffic
over their copper wire
s to the local exchanges for a flat monthly fee
There have been some problems with the roll out of FRIACO based services, due to arguments as to who is to foot the bill for the inter-exchange traffic which BT claims will increase if people are no longer paying for internet access, but this sticking point doesn't seem to have detered the ISPs, despite having to buy connecting circuits from BT to carry the traffic from the local exchanges to their networks.
There is a "middle way" known provisionally as FRIACO2, where the traffic is part metered and the ISPs pay for the inter-exchange traffic
Information taken from: